Health, diet, and cuisine trends come and go, but one thing is on the rise and is likely here to stay: people want their companies to reflect their own values.

Terms like “GMO-Free” and “organic” attempt to embody the sentiment of social consciousness, but often come across as contrived. On the other hand, sustainable food, or the practice of food produced under practices and farming techniques that protect the environment, public health, and animal welfare, could be referred to as an “old” practice. We’re seeing that customers are going back to their roots, and restaurants, markets and grocery stores, are scrambling to meet them there.

44% of shoppers opt to purchase sustainable food when available. Compare that with 19% of customers concerned with GMOs.

Then compare that to 25% of shoppers who buy organic under the same circumstances, and it looks like we’ve got a winning label, in spite of the fact that sustainability is a core tenet of organic farming.

The term “sustainable” leaves a lot up to interpretation as it’s not yet a legal designation like organic or non-GMO, but consumers seem to have made up their minds that they want it. Our research shows it’s a favorite candidate for the next big food buzzword, and brands should find a place for it in their marketing.